ARC Homes Invests €14M in a New Development in Santa Coloma de Gramanet

3 June 2019 – La Vanguardia

The property developer ARC Homes is going to invest €14 million in the construction of a new housing development in Santa Coloma de Gramanet (Barcelona).

At its current investment pace, ARC expects to achieve a turnover of €85 million by 2020. The property developer is currently looking for new locations for development in Cataluña, the País Vasco, Navarra, La Rioja, Madrid, Valladolid, Valencia and Ibiza.

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Carmena Approves Los Berrocales, the Largest Housing Development in the South of Madrid

24 January 2019 – El Confidencial

The Government Board chaired by Manuela Carmena will give an important boost to the urban development area of Los Berrocales on Thursday. It is the largest in the city and the first to receive the green light of the sites that comprise the project known as the Developments of the Southeast (Los Desarrollos del Sureste). The Town Hall of Madrid and the Compensation Board for the area have finally agreed the initial text for the urban planning agreement for the management of the buildable land, which will see the construction of 22,000 homes on the largest land bank in the south of the city. 50% of the homes, around 11,000, will be dedicated to social housing.

The General Plan for the city of Madrid obliges the parties involved to sign an urban planning agreement for the management of this area. The Administration and the urban planning entity are signing the commitments assumed by both for the development of the area. According to comments made to this newspaper, the agreement reflects the obligation of the Compensation Board to urbanise the land (which spans 8,305,812 m2 in total) over the course of six phases, during which the planned buildings will be constructed and the services implemented. The project will run until 2034. Moreover, the agreed texts establish the criteria to ensure the equitable distribution of profits and charges between all of the owners (…).

The total buildability amounts to 3.3 million m2, of which 2,247,121 m2 will be dedicated to residential use. 50% of that will be for private housing, 31% for price-controlled housing and 19% for social housing (that latter two percentages correspond to 11,000 homes). The rest will be dedicated to industrial, tertiary, office and commercial use.

In terms of facilities, more than 2 million m2 will be converted into green space, 1.9 million m2 will be used for public facilities and services, 1.7 million m2 for infrastructure and 228,830 m2 will be used for social integration homes.

The agreement reached with the Compensation Board represents a victory for the municipal Government and specifically, for the Sustainable Urban Development department, led by José Manuel Calvo, five months before the end of the current legislature (…).

Following the green light from the Governing Board, the text of the agreement must be submitted for public consultation – a comment period – and afterwards, it will go to the municipal plenary. From that moment, the urban planning entity will be able to start work on the execution of the project.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Paloma Esteban)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit to Build 700 More Homes in Aguas Vivas (Guadalajara)

14 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Quabit Inmobiliaria is building homes in Guadalajara. This week, the property developer has handed over the keys to 116 social housing properties in Guadalajara, in the new Aguas Vivas development and at the same time, it has laid the first brick for the second phase of another 196 homes. According to the President and CEO of Quabit Inmobiliaria, Félix Abánades (pictured below, right), the company plans to build around 700 properties in this part of Guadalajara over the coming months.

This development is the first new build social housing complex to have been completed in Guadalajara in the last decade, in the new Aguas Vivas development. After completing the first phase, and starting the earth movement works of the second phase, Quabit Inmobiliaria is now also on the verge of starting to market the third phase, which includes another 193 properties, according to Guadaque.

Félix Abánades highlighted that it has taken ten years to start constructing new build homes from scratch again and he expressed his satisfaction that this work is being carried out in Guadalajara and that it is involving social housing units.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Israeli Fund Adar Increases its Stake in Neinor to 9.2%

15 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Adar has taken more power in Neinor Homes. The Israeli fund manager Adar Capital Partners has increased its stake in the real estate firm to 9.2% from the 5.2% that it had held until now, whereby becoming the property developer’s largest shareholder.

What’s more, if we add the 2.6% stake that Adar controls indirectly through derivatives, then the percentage held by the fund in the company increases to 11.88%, which is worth €168 million at current prices, according to the registers of the National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

In this way, Adar Capital Partners has taken over Lone Star’s role as the largest shareholder of Neinor, after the US fund sold its stake in the real estate company that it had constituted, and exited its share capital.

Besides the Israeli manager, Neinor’s other reference shareholders include several other overseas institutional investors. In this way, Wellington Management Group holds an 8.6% stake, Fidelity owns 6.8%, Norges Bank holds 4.9% and Bank of Montreal has 3%.

Neinor currently has 71 housing developments underway across Spain, totalling 5,470 homes, after launching five new developments containing 528 homes during the third quarter of last year.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Acciona Buys a Plot of Residential Land in Malilla (Valencia) from Sareb

19 December 2017 – Valencia Plaza

Acciona Inmobiliaria is joining the property developer fever in Malilla. The firm has purchased one of the few plots of land left for sale in the Valencian neighbourhood from Sareb for more than €7 million, according to several sources in the sector speaking to Valencia Plaza.

The transaction, which was signed last week, places almost 2,000 m2 of land in Malilla Norte Residencial at the disposal of the property developer. The plot has a permitted buildable surface area of almost 15,000 m2 – equivalent to around 150 homes.

According to the same sources, Acciona, which has been advised by the consultancy firm CBRE, was awarded the plot after it submitted the best offer in a process that saw half a dozen companies compete. The marketing of the plot was carried out by Solvia.

Execution unit 1 in the Malilla Morte sector is one of the hottest spots in Valencia’s property market. It comprises a land surface area measuring 360,000 m2, of which 70,000 m2 will comprise a large garden – plus another 13,000 m2 for the same use spread throughout the neighbourhood – 68,000 m2 for the road network, 50,000 m2 for public use and 45,000 m2 for private buildable land.

It is precisely the buildable plots where a large number of property developers have taken positions, including Libra, Hábitat, ASG Iberia (Activum SG), Grupo Lobe, Urbem and Aelca.

The most talked about investment in the area was that made by the listed company Neinor Homes, which after acquiring a plot for the development of 54 flats in the neighbourhood, spent another €27 million to buy 50,000 m2 of land from the Valencia firm Urbem, where it plans to build 400 homes.

Second development underway

In terms of Acciona Inmobiliaria, the firm has at least two projects underway in the city after announcing its return to domestic property building in March, with the construction of 16 developments – 13 in Spain and the rest in Mexico and Poland.

As this newspaper reported, the infrastructure management and renewable energy company will build a development on Avenida del Puerto, 284, on the corner of Calle Barco. That residential complex will comprise 53 homes and will integrate a protected façade.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sevilla’s Municipal Gov’t To Boost Social Housing Stock By 1,000 Over 3 Years

5 October 2017 – Emvisesa

Last week, the mayor of Sevilla, Juan Espadas, together with the delegate for Social Welfare and Employment, Juan Manuel Flores, and the manager of Emvisesa, Felipe Castro, presented the “Strategy for the urgent expansion of the public housing stock (for Sevilla)”, which is aimed at securing at least 1,000 extra homes for rent over the next three years.

These actions will be carried out immediately, whilst the new Municipal Housing Plan for 2018-2024 is being finalised (…).

“We find ourselves with a dismantled Housing Company and an abolished Housing Plan, without any alternatives. We have worked for two years to take different measures and now we are advancing with a housing strategy for Sevilla for the next eight or nine years”, explained the mayor of Sevilla, Juan Espadas.

In this way, the Housing Company, together with the department for Social Welfare and Employment and the Urban Planning team, has designed some immediate steps to expand the stock of public rental homes by 1,000 units over the next three years. This is expected to involve a global budget of around €100 million.

First of all, the Program will be developed through rental housing initiatives (the current tender will be strengthened) and house purchases (a new tender will be held soon). The hope is to obtain around 470 homes through this route.

Secondly, the envelopes for the tender of the Ramón Carande plot will be opened in October. The plan is to obtain resources, land and homes relating to 400 properties in this way in total.

Thirdly, properties owned by the Town Hall and land owned by the Municipal Land Company have been identified for the construction of 520 homes on land in the following areas: Sur, Torreblanca, Macarena, Norte and Carretera de Carmona. Almost all of these sites are available for construction work to be started in the short term.


To finance this whole operation, as well as resorting to typical bank loans, like for the construction of any other of housing development, the Town Hall of Sevilla is going to make contributions and 230 homes are going to be built, within the same Program, which will go up for sale.

In this way, although 1,215 homes will be constructed in total, 230 will be sold (whereby responding to the demand from 40% of the applicants on the public housing register) to contribute to the financing of the operation as a whole (…).

The strategy will be presented during the first half of October to Emvisesa’s Board of Directors; it will be enriched with any constructive and positive proposals presented; and it will be boosted to begin construction of the homes and the programs to acquire homes in the short term.

Original story: Emvisesa

Translation: Carmel Drake

ACS & Sacyr To Build Homes For Quabit In Madrid & Barcelona

31 May 2017 – El Mundo

Quabit Inmobiliaria has engaged Dragados (ACS) and Sacyr to build two new housing estates that it is developing in Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. The two projects will involve a total investment of €28.2 million, which will be financed by CaixaBank, according to a statement made by the company.

The large construction firms are starting to undertake residential projects for third parties once again. In this case, the new homes form part of the growth plan that Quabit is working on, with the aim of completing 4,000 homes in 2021.

Specifically, Dragados, the construction subsidiary of ACS, will be responsible for building a luxury housing development that Quabit is promoting in the Madrilenian town of Boadilla del Monte.

The project involves building 12 homes, with a useful surface area of 450 m2 each. All of the homes will have six bedrooms, a plot of land measuring 1,000 m2 and an individual heated pool. The development will require an investment of €11.1 million, of which €5.7 million corresponds to the cost of construction, and 75% of the properties are already sold. The houses are expected to be completed by September 2018.

Two blocks of flats in Barcelona

Meanwhile, in the Catalan capital, specifically, in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Quabit has engaged Sacyr to build two 7-storey housing blocks, in a single complex, with swimming pools and green spaces.

Specifically, the development, which will require an investment of €17 million, will contain 63 apartments of between two and four bedrooms, of which 75% have already been pre-sold. They are expected to be completed in October 2018. (…).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Finalises Acquisition Of 40% Of La Finca Business Park

28 April 2016 – Expansión

Procisa– the real estate company owned by the García Cereceda family – is finalising an agreement with the American fund Värde Partners to sell it a 40% stake in its office business, which includes, amongst others, assets in the exclusive La Finca Business Park, located in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), according to sources in the sector. (…)

Procisa, the group that specialises in offices and luxury residential developments, recently constituted a company under the name Grupo La Finca and divided its business into two distinct areas: one operating in the office segment, which is where Värde will acquire its stake; and the other operating in the residential business, which will continue to be fully owned by Procisa.

Susana García Cereceda will continue to lead the new Grupo La Finca, where she will serve as CEO, the same role that she currently performs in Procisa’s family business.

In the same way, García Cereceda will lead the two business lines into which the group has been divided.

To complete the organigram of the new real estate company, it is expected that new members with experience and background in the sector will join the company over the next few months.

Residential business

In terms of the residential business, Grupo La Finca wants to expand through new housing developments, as well as in the exclusive development in Pozuelo de Alarcón, next to the Parque Empresarial. The main features of this urbanisation include security, privacy and exclusivity. The group’s intention is to develop a new complex, to complement the detached and terraced houses that currently comprise La Finca.

With its upcoming investment in La Finca Global Assets (the name of La Finca’s office division), Värde Partners, which currently controls the real estate division of Grupo San José, with a 51% shareholding, and which also owns a stake in Popular’s servicer Aliseda, will take a leap into the high standing office business, which will allow it to expand its presence in the commercial and professional business segment in the future.

The private equity fund Värde Partners has been one of the most active investors in Spain since the crisis began. Its first major operation was closed last August, when it acquired 51% of the real estate company San José to construct 1,500 homes in Spain.

In 2014, it purchased 51% of Banco Popular-e’s card business, whereby the entity recorded profits of more than €400 million.

Moreover, a year earlier, it acquired, together with Kennedy Wilson, the real estate arm of Popular, Aliseda, for approximately €800 million. At the global level, the fund, founded in Minnesota in 1993, manages more than USD 40,000 million and has 200 employees around the world, of which 65 are professional investors with more than 12 years of experience.

From now on, its assets in Spain will include La Finca Global Assets, whose assets comprise not only the La Finca business park, but also other iconic buildings owned by Procisa, including a business centre comprising seven, 7-storey buildings on Calle Marcelo Spínola and another property comprising three, 7-storey buildings on Calle Martínez Villergas. (…).

Meanwhile, the park in La Finca, has a surface area of premium leasable space covering 27,000 m2, comprising 20 buildings (16 offices and 4 for the provision of services for use by office workers). Current tenants include companies such as Orange and Microsoft. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Habitat Inmobiliaria Invests €44M In New Homes In Valdebebas

19 April 2016 – Expansión

The land that will house the new homes was acquired from Grupo Villar Mir.

Habitat Inmobiliaria will invest €44 million in a new housing development in Madrid, which will involve the construction of 115 luxury homes and will be built on land in Valdebebas, purchased from Inmobiliaria Espacio, a Grupo Villar Mir company.

The new development forms part of the strategic plan launched by the real estate company, which is currently controlled by a group of funds, after it emerged from recent bankruptcy proceedings.

It will be the fifth development launched by Habitat following the clean up and restructuring process that it has undergone in recent years. Within the last few months, the company returned to the property developer business with the launch of four projects that include almost 400 new homes, two of which are in Madrid, one in Cornellá (Barcelona) and one in Málaga.

In terms of the development that it is beginning now, it will be constructed on two plots of land purchased from Inmobiliaria Espacio, with a combined surface area of 18,091 m2, located in Valdebebas, a new area of development in the capital.

The total investment of €44 million announced by Habitat covers both the purchase of the land and the subsequent construction of the homes.

Specifically, the development will involve the construction of 115 3-bed and 4-bed luxury homes, measuring around 140 m2, as well as eight “loft-offices”, six retail outlets, 115 storerooms and 272 parking spaces. Habitat hopes to complete the construction of the homes by the end of 2018.

The company led by Bruno Figueras (pictured above) explains that these projects form part of the company’s strategy to become “one of the most important property developers in the country”.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Developers & Funds Team Up To Construct Homes

7 March 2016 – Finanzas

The crisis that has affected the real estate sector since 2007 has given rise to new alliances between the main players in the market, such as the unions between international funds and domestic property developers that have proliferated, particularly in last two years.

With the return of credit to the real estate sector….alliances have started form between international funds who want to expand beyond the tertiary sector and move their money into the segment for residential development, in the hope that the economic recovery will consolidate and demand will increase, and traditional developers, which have the know-how about the residential sector.

The President of the trade association for construction developers in Spain (APCE), Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado, admits that the information available about these alliances is vague because the sector is still “not very transparent” and figures are scarce.

Data from the Ministry of Development indicates that the number of permits requested for the construction of new homes shot up by 42.5% last year, to reach 49,695 certificates in November. Nevertheless, although the data from 2015 is the best figure in the last five year, it still falls well short of the maximum reached in 2006, when 865,561 permits were requested.

In the midst of this opacity, Gómez-Pintado explains that all of this began when the funds, which manage “a lot money but have few employees”, decided to construct homes and “sought out developers with extensive knowledge of the area where they wanted to invest and with sophisticated (internal) structures”, to allow them to report on the status of expense accounts and construction work on a weekly basis and, above all, to work with players that display good practices and regulatory compliance.

Medium-sized and large developers

Thus, Gómez-Pintado says that the funds are interested in medium-sized and large development companies, whilst the CEO of Aelca, José Juan Martín, says that they are also keeping their eyes on those developers that have knowledge of micro-markets.

When it comes to launching an operation, the funds prefer to invest in new developments with their partner, right from the start. Again, the aversion to risk is there and so they prefer to team up with a developer from the get-go, i.e. to buy the plot of land. (…).

In terms of location, Mikel Echavarren, CEO of the financial consulting firm Irea, points to destinations such as Madrid, the Costa del Sol and the city of Málaga, the Balearic Islands, Barcelona and the surrounding area, and the Mediterranean Coast, as the most attractive areas for this type of partnership.

Great opportunity

The sources consulted agree that these partnerships represent a good opportunity for developers, especially those players that decreased in size during the crisis and now want to grow again.

To this end, the President of APCE believes that this is “a model that is here to stay”. “The funds have a time horizon of 5 to 7 years, over which they have to recover their investment, and if things go well then they will stay”, he adds.

In Martín’s opinion, “there are no long-term relationships at the moment, but that is something that is improving every day” because “bank financing is continuing to provide support, but there is an initial investment for projects that the banks will never finance”.

Henceforth, the CEO of Aleca believes that “long-lasting relationships” will also arise between property developers and funds, but he thinks that they will only happen in the case of those developers that have a vision of all or almost all of the domestic market. (…).

Original story: Finanzas

Translation: Carmel Drake